Religion and Philosophy

Institute for Virtue Research: The Immorality of Oral Sex?

Institute for Virtue Research

“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18

Oral sex is an act in which the genitals of one partner are stimulated by the mouth of the other. This act of sexual intercourse is a favorite among many people. For example, a survey from Bespoke Surgical found that average person performs oral sex 5.32 times per month and receives 5.2 times per month (Bespoke 2020). Among homosexuals, almost 100% of them engage in oral sex (Adams 1998). For lesbians, 96% of them engage in oral sex. This act of sexual stimulation of the genitals seems to be enjoyed by most people. However, it should be discouraged. Although oral sex is a popular act of sexual intercourse amongst many people, it should be discouraged because it is a sin and because it causes harm to those who engage in it.

Oral sex is a sin

The first reason that oral sex should be discouraged as a form of sexual intercourse is because it is a sin. When discussing whether something is a sin (not permitted in the Bible), it is best to look to the Bible first, then fallback on the early Church Fathers when there are questions that need to be answered. And if necessary, look at church consensus on the contentious issue.

The Bible is not that explicit about oral sex; there is no direct evidence in the Bible that oral sex is a sin. However, reasonable inferences can be made when reading scripture. Romans 1:26-27 reads “For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.” This verse is referring to homosexuals who gave up natural relations (one man – one woman) for sinful homosexual fornication. This matters because Paul indirectly talks about oral sex. He calls homosexual behavior unnatural. It is unnatural because procreation is cut off in order to retain the very pleasures that are involved. When he says the acts are “leaving the natural use, burn in their lusts one for another”, it is pretty clear that he is saying the purpose of sex is procreation. With this being said, it can be reasonably concluded that oral sex is a sin. Oral sex is the genital stimulation via the use of the mouth. Since this act does not lead to the creation of children, it isn’t natural to engage in it.

The next line of evidence that oral sex is a sin is the early references to it (and condemnations of it) by the early Church Fathers. The earliest reference to oral sex by one of the early Church Fathers was in the Letter of Barnabas. In the Letter of Barnabas 10:8 [A.D. 74], Barnabas states “Moreover, he [Moses] has rightly detested the weasel [Lev. 11:29]. For he means, ‘Thou shall not be like to those whom we hear of as committing wickedness with the mouth with the body through uncleanness [orally consummated sex]; nor shall thou be joined to those impure women who commit iniquity with the mouth with the body through uncleanness.’” Numerous times, the Church Fathers condemn the act of wasting seed (which is what oral sex is) throughout their writings (Figure 1).

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